Step into Will Meyers’ basement and the temperature drops to a cool 60 degrees F. Head a little further and there’s a 12-by-15-foot enclosed space where the mercury dips even lower, staying between 53 and 56 degrees year-round.
That’s where you’ll find nearly 2,000 bottles of wine, port, mead and beer. A dream cellar stocked with rare “whales” (vertical of Samuel Adams Utopias, anyone?) and historic beer like an 1867 bottle of Bass Pale Ale. Only a handful of bottles are off-limits for drinking, and friends are often invited to select from decades-old Belgian lambics or a selection of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ales that date back to 1993, when Meyers started saving beer.
“It’s fun watching the elegant decay,” says Meyers, brewmaster at Massachusetts’ Cambridge Brewing Co.
With so many options lining store shelves these days, cellaring beer has become a well-practiced behavior by beer lovers. Letting an imperial stout, barley wine or quadrupel age can add nuance and new flavors, but you still have to be smart about it, Meyers notes. “Eventually, there are some beers that sit down there past their prime, but it can still be fun to open and taste them to see what happened,” Meyers says. “But it’s sad when you miss the window of catching something at its peak.”
Take some of the following tips into consideration when tucking away your beers for later. —Bryan Roth
Click the image below to enlarge the infographic.
(Infographic designed by Jeff Quinn)